Crown Victoria CVPI / P71 Reconditioning
A retired Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor can be a great car to own and drive. There is reason that the CVPI , also know as a P71, had a monopoly on the police market for many years. They are dependable, body on frame rear wheel drive cars. They are built tough and are fairly easy to maintain and repair. Parts are easily attainable and wont break the bank. This site is a chronicle of what it took to recondition a CVPI. The information can provide guidelines for maintaining and repairing many items on a retired cruiser.
In Jully of 2011, I finally decided to get my 99 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor back in order. It was really starting to get beat looking and all kinds of things were wearing out due to age. It wasn’t running all that great either. I acquired the car in really decent condition back in the summer of ’04 from Cheyka Motors with a little over 71,000 miles. They were great guys to deal with and I highly recommend them if you are in the market for a CVPI in excellent condition at a fair price.
When I got the car I immediately changed out the oil to Amsoil (but later switched to Mobil1 to save some money) and flushed the tranny with Amsoil ATF - all with Motorcraft filters. In the first year I had the Idler Arm, Pitman Arm and Tie Rods replaced using Ford/Motorcraft parts. This really tightened up the steering. A couple years in I replaced the rear coil springs (#6W7Z-5560-A) due to rear end sagging with the original EE springs. Kind of wish I went with the #6W7Z-5560-B since I understand it would have added a touch of height to the rear stance. In addition, over the first 4 years I have had the car, I did a differential gear oil change and coolant flush. Also had to replace the tires, the radiator, the battery, the multi-function switch and the spark plugs. I wound up changing out the plugs a second time because I first used Bosh Double Platinum. They sucked in my car. Can you say pinging? Then went with Autolite plugs. Also had the rear wheel bearings and an axle replaced. The intake manifold had already been replaced before I got the car with the aluminum crossover type and the rear collision protectors had been installed. If you have a later CVPI these will already be the norm.
For the first 4 years I owned the car, I treated her like gold. Then things in the maintenance department started to go south. The car barely got washed and started to look and run like a like a crappy old police car bought dirt cheap at auction. You know the ones. Heck the cops even stopped waving to me. I did however keep up with the oil changes. All the coils (COP) have also been replaced over time as each one went bad one by one as the car reached 100,000 miles.
That brought me to July of 2011 with a decision to make since my CVPI was headed downhill quickly if I didn’t do something. Scrape up enough to buy another car and possibly have car payments or work with what I had. Since the engine and transmission were still running strong at approx. 130,000 miles, the car had minimal rust and the paint/body was in decent shape with some exceptions, I went with working with what I had.
A good amount of the basic repairs and maintenance listed on this site were performed on my car between June 2011 and November 2011. I will also be updating this site as new projects and mods are completed. I did most of the work myself with a few exceptions as noted. Thanks greatly to the knowledge I gleaned from the contributors of the greatest crown vic owner site on the net - http://www.crownvic.net and a few others. But, mostly crownvic.net. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to pay shops to do the work. Nor would it have made financial sense to do so for a car this old with minimal re-sale value.
Some of the equipment and parts I have been using may not be optimum for the application. I have tried to use Ford/Motorcraft parts where I have read that it is critical. Many of my replacement parts and fluid choices (although I chose synthetic fluids) were made with a limited budget in mind. I am not a trained mechanic. The links are supplied as viable options and as a source to aquire the products. The opinions expressed are based on my personal observations and experiences and are not deemed to be all inclusive.